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American Buttermilk Pancakes- This master recipe is the best I have ever tried. It will become your family favorite

How to Make Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Every baker needs a master recipe for Fluffy Thick Buttermilk Pancakes, It is a must!

I have tried every recipe under the sun for American style pancakes and hands down this is thee best recipe I have. To say that it is tried and tested is an understatement. I used to have a breakfast catering business in San Fransisco where I would create elaborate, over-the-top breakfasts (sound familiar?). I had never made buttermilk pancakes before but I was determined to master the Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes because I wanted to make those thick stacks of fluffy, light pancakes that you got in diners. I was convinced that everyone was using boxed pancake mix and that’s how they got perfect pancakes every time. I am actually pretty sure most diners do use box mix however that’s not for me.

God bless the poor guinea pigs I catered for because regardless of the result they ate them. But without my hungry audience and the demand for “bigger and bolder” breakfasts I never would have created Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Churro Waffles and Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

However where it all started was this basic humble recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes.

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There is a skill to making the perfect Buttermilk Pancakes. After making 1000’s of them I have mastered it. It comes down to 2 very simple things: mixing the pancakes and the mixing in your melted butter.

Don’t overtax your pancakes!!! It is soon tempting, I know. I still do it, but DONT! The less the you mix, the thicker and fluffier they will be. All of those lumps that you are worried about will disappear when the pancakes rest.

Let the dough rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before you use it. This allows the butter to set, so when they hit the hot griddle the butter will create steam, and steam evaporates and creates bubble! Boom! Science lesson.

5.0 from 14 reviews
Make Perfect Pancakes
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups (10oz/280g) all - purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 2 Cups (16 floz/ ½ litre/480ml) Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp (2oz/60g) melted butter
Instructions
  1. First, melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a jug, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract
  4. Add the liquid to the dry mix and starting lightly mixing together. The secret to thick, fluffy pancakes is not to over mix. My trick is to stir it enough times to spell P.A.N.C.A.K.E, and then stop.
  5. Slowly drizzle in the cooled butter and stir another 3 times. Lumps are ok, resist the urge to mix more
  6. Put in the fridge for 10 minutes. This helps the butter to chill and bubbles to form in your batter.
  7. Put a heavy bottom frying pan or griddle on medium heat-low heat.
  8. Spoon one big spoon of the batter per pancake.
  9. Cook for roughly 4 minutes on one side. It is time to turn them over when you see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake and the edges turn color (forming bubbles on top is really important because they hold your pancake up and keep it thick, I call them pancake pillars :))
  10. Flip and cook for another on the other side a little longer, until brown. Enjoy with butter and maple syrup.

 

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157 Comments

  1. Sadaf on May 1, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    Hi.if we want to make chocolate pancake then how much cocoa powder should be added?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 2, 2018 at 3:06 am

      Hi there,
      I think 1 – 2 tablespoons, sieved with the flour should do this for you. you may need a little more milk, or to reduce the flour by 1/2 the quantity of cocoa.
      I hope you like this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Faten on March 27, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Amazing recipe super fluffy I made it with regular milk and turned out amazingly fluffy and super tasty

    • Gemma Stafford on March 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Delighted you like it, Faten. Thanks so much for trying it out.

      Gemma. 🙂

  3. Veronique on March 12, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Hello, just made these pancakes. DEVINE 🌟
    I started with the heat too high. Greetings from Belgium.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Hi Veronique,
      Everyone burns their first pancake! This is the law of pancake making. They cook in a low enough pan really.
      I am happy you liked this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. D on March 2, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Can you help me with these pancakes to make them vegan please? I am also not able to use the baking powder or soda. Should I try using this recipe with the tofu as egg substitute & maybe make the buttermilk using soy milk & lemon?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2018 at 8:18 am

      Hi there,
      I am not sure why you are not able to use bicarbonate of soda!
      You need something to make this recipe work. The buttermilk certainly can be made with soy. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/homemade-buttermilk/).
      You can make a buttermilk pancake without the eggs, just with the buttermilk and flour, but you need a raising agent. The eggs help to raise these too, you will need one or the other!
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Karen on February 13, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    I realized later I didn’t rate the recipe when I posted a comment the first time! This recipe really makes the most flavorful and fluffiest pancakes compared to all others I’ve tried at diners and even other recipes. Once you figure out what it is that gets your batter nice and thick, this recipe becomes a keeper! I made half this recipe to eat for myself almost everyday for a week! That’s how good they are!

    I had trouble getting a thick batter the first few times but this was due to substituting buttermilk with the homemade buttermilk mixture of milk & vinegar. The homemade mixture thickens up more the longer you leave it to curdle but I didn’t want to leave it out on the counter that long. My fridge also doesn’t have the space to sit a small bowl of milk. I tried one of the suggested tips by another reviewer who said the homemade buttermilk thickens up better if the milk you are using is warm.

    During the attempts where the pancakes came out flatter, I mixed up vinegar with cold milk right out of the fridge. So I tried microwaving the milk for 1 minute and it came out warm/hot to the touch. After adding vinegar to the hot milk, it curdled up so much it produced huge thick chunks that smelled like cheese. It ended up being big solid rubbery chunks in clear liquid. I started over with new milk and microwaved for 20 seconds instead (I make half the recipe for myself using 1 cup of milk) then added vinegar afterwards. The milk will still feel slightly cold but unlike the first and last disaster, it will not make cheesy chunks when mixed with the vinegar. It has warmed up just enough to be NOT cold and becomes extremely thick within the time it takes to prep the rest of the ingredients. As Gemma has said, it all depends on the thickness of the buttermilk. Even the milk and vinegar mixture can make tall fluffy pancakes if it is thick enough!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 14, 2018 at 5:18 am

      Hi Karen,
      Haha! you are a baking genius!
      What you actually made, and this was a genius way to do it, was curd, which you could have strained off and creamed, to be creamed cheese. It is a basic farmers cheese, very much part of how milk was preserved in the past, well done you.
      Using the microwave to help with this is a great idea too. The microwave is a great tool for all sorts of jobs, even to give a yeasy dough a kick start to proof in a hurry. That would be at 30% power, like defrost setting!
      Thank you for this great review, and discussion, I enjoyed it!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Karen on March 7, 2018 at 11:48 am

        Oh wow thank you for telling me what those curds are! The first time they turned into curds they smelled like mozzarella to me but I wasn’t sure what it was so I tossed them out. After looking up basic farmers cheese it looks like I can spread it on a sandwich instead! Which is great because today I accidentally heated the milk too long and made those cheesy curds again. Can the curds still be used as my buttermilk substitute? Just wondering incase I continue to make this mistake in the future. Thanks so much Gemma!

        • Gemma Stafford on March 9, 2018 at 6:34 am

          Hi Karen,
          Yes, use away. All dairy really is forgiving as long as it is fresh! Pasteurized milk tends to go bad rather than sour, and so it must be discarded, but milk which has been cultured, like this, is perfectly usable,
          Gemma 🙂

  6. Mary on February 4, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Hi , thanks for the buttermilk pancake recipe, made it again this am , my husband says it’s the best I’ve ever made and we’ve been married 26 yrs. what I Did different from the first time I made them was to make the butter milk 24 hours in advance so it was nice and thick I also cut the recipe in half and it made four nice pancakes for the two of us thank you again ,you are the best. Mary

    • Gemma Stafford on February 4, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Hi Mary,

      Well if that is not the seal of approval I don’t know what is!! I am totally on board to make the buttermilk in advance to give it time to develop.

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Mary on February 10, 2018 at 5:57 am

        As to making the buttermilk 24 hours in advance I did keep it in the refrigerator and it came out nice and thick I did use a little extra white vinegar in it instead of a tablespoon per cup I used 2 tablespoons because I like buttermilk taste

    • Kay on February 10, 2018 at 4:02 am

      Hi,

      You said you made it 24 hours in advanced. Did you leave the buttermilk susbstitue in room temperature for that 24 hours or did you put it in the fridge after 30mins at room temperature?

      Thanks.

      • Gemma Stafford on February 10, 2018 at 4:35 am

        Hi Kay,
        Yes! you can make a buttermilk substitute. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/homemade-buttermilk/).
        What you are looking for is the acid ingredient, and this will be perfect. Leave it at room temperature for 30 mins or so, then refrigerate if you have some left over. Make what you need for any given recipe,
        Gemma 🙂

      • Mary on February 14, 2018 at 5:55 am

        Yes I left the butter milk mixture in the fridge overbite , took it out just before using

  7. Karen on January 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I made these pancakes yesterday and the very first pancake I cooked was amazingly thick and fluffy. The rest of the batter became runny so the pancakes never reached the glory of the very first one.

    That first pancake was so good that I’m trying again now. I left my milk+vinegar mixture to thicken more this time. I realized making homemade buttermilk adds that extra 2 tablespoons of liquid. Is that why my batter isn’t as thick as yours? What can I do to balance the ratio of wet to dry with that extra vinegar in the recipe?

    Thank you so much for giving us these amazing recipes. I suddenly have an urge to bake everyday after finding your site!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 23, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      Aw I’m delighted to hear that, Karen. Homemade buttermilk isn’t as thick for sure. And some brands I find in the site are thicker than others. The thicker the buttermilk the thicker your batter for sure. that 2 tablespoons won’t make the difference to a thin or thick batter.

      Hope this makes sense.
      Gemma.

      • Karen on January 24, 2018 at 11:10 am

        Thanks Gemma! I’ve never actually used buttermilk before so it definitely makes sense that I don’t know how thick real buttermilk is supposed to be. Next time I make these with real buttermilk, I’ll let you know how it goes!

        • Gemma Stafford on January 24, 2018 at 1:21 pm

          Hi Karen,
          Most buttermilk which we buy is cultured, that is it has had an acid/culture added. Real buttermilk is the residue left behind after the making of butter, it is not so easy to find.
          See the substitute/cultured buttermilk here (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/homemade-buttermilk/),
          Gemma 🙂

          • Karen on January 26, 2018 at 12:56 pm

            Hi Gemma,

            That is interesting! So when I use the recipe make buttermilk at home, it’s essentially the same as what we buy in the store? But probably using a different source of acid? My 2nd attempt at the pancakes also turned out much thicker this time! I didn’t change anything about the recipe! The only difference is that I made the buttermilk the night before. I used only 1 tablespoon of white vinegar at first. The next day it wasn’t thick enough so I added a second tablespoon and let it sit and it got very very thick! Much thicker than the first time I made the buttermilk a few days ago. A bit of milk also spilled out of the bowl when someone knocked into it in the fridge.

            I also poured each dry ingredient through a sifter into the same bowl. Then mixed the dry ingredients altogether. I think this helped the flour become exposed to more liquid. Alot more liquid was absorbed this time around instead of becoming runny at the bottom of the bowl. I use King Arthur’s unbleached all purpose flour and it doesn’t seem to absorb evenly unless it’s mixed very well. Thank you for giving us your homemade buttermilk tips and responding to our comments! You’re guiding us all very well into the world of baking. Next time I make a birthday cake I will be using your chocolate or vanilla cake recipe!



          • Gemma Stafford on January 28, 2018 at 5:49 pm

            Yes!! making the buttermilk the night before definitely would make the difference. That was smart thinking.

            Really glad you had success. I had a catering business and made these hundreds of times and can tell you due to lots of variables they didn’t always come out the same thickness.

            Glad you enjoyed them!
            Gemma.



  8. Mary monroe1010 on January 14, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Hi I just found your site recently tried pancake recipe delicious but mine came out thin ,my husband liked them that way, I just thought they were supposed to be thicker: hint to what I did wrong? The butter when hit the batter clumped , melted as pancakes cooked, think it was a little chilly in my kitchen. I will try again, flavors wonderful. Can’t wait to try some other recipes. Thanks for being there with great recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 14, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Mary,

      Glad you liked this recipe. So melt your butter first and then fold it in as the very last ingredient. It makes a huge difference to awesome pancakes. It needs to be cool to evenly fold into the pancake batter.

      Also a good, thick buttermilk should ensure thick pancakes 🙂
      Gemma.

      • Mary on January 15, 2018 at 8:04 am

        Thank you for coming back to me with the right answer butter last, my buttermilk must not have been thick enough but even re-cooked this morning they were delicious and I will make them again the right way thank you

  9. Christine McCabe on January 6, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Make these for our big Saturday morning breakfast! They are the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever made. My kids are pretty big critics and they say they love my pancakes…even better than grandmas!

    • Gemma Stafford on January 6, 2018 at 4:49 am

      Hi Christine,
      Haha! Poor grandma! tell the kids to keep it under their hats 🙂
      Delighted you worked this recipe well, it is really useful, and stands being kept in the fridge overnight too, which helps on a busy school morning,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Ryan on January 2, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    I am going to make this. Is it ok to use regular salt instead of kosher?

    • Kevin Kurtz on January 2, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      for sure, regular is perfect.

  11. Lynn on January 2, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Hi Gemma 🙂
    Made your buttermilk pancakes more than three times over the holidays. Always a big hit. Made them with chocolate chips, bananas, raspberries and also with orange zest. Topped them with real maple syrup and no wonder my kids keep asking for more. Easy & delicious. Thank you ♡

    • Gemma Stafford on January 2, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Delighted to hear that, Lynn 🙂

  12. VictorBarcelona on November 28, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Greetings Gemma!

    Yup, Gemma you are the “Wonder Woman” of Bigger Bolder Baking for sure…without the cape, but with that “super-powered” apron of yours fueled with your passion!

    I have made this before, but B4 I discovered your secrets. I have separated my eggs b4 and added the whites after combining the wet and dry. We had the same ingredients and measurements, but use a different way of combining them.

    I love your bonus tips:
    Stir until you spell P.A.N.C.A.K.E
    Then add: cool butter for 3 stirs
    Finally put in fridge for 10 minutes

    I have a griddle where I make 6 pancakes at a time and then I freeze them and reheat them in microwave and they still taste yummy like they are fresh off the griddle. I usually make 15-18 at a time.

    I did notice you say 10 minutes in the fridge, but your intro narrative in recipe says this: “Let the dough rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before you use it. This allows the butter to set, so when they hit the hot griddle the butter will create steam, and steam evaporates and creates bubble! Boom! Science lesson.”

    I will be making a new batch of pancakes in the next week or two, so I would like to know what is the suggested fridge time.

    I really got a kick out your P.A.N.C.A.K.E. (7 stirs) Mnemonic, I am the dude (your new fan who over mixed the dough for your spectacular cinnamon rolls recipe (No-knead, No machine) I made. This helps a lot.

    Thanks for the spectacular Science Lesson!

    Seriously, girl you’re a virtuoso!

    Victor

    • Gemma Stafford on November 30, 2017 at 6:35 am

      Hi Victor,

      Aw you are too kind, I’m delighted you like my recipes :).

      I’m glad that finally all of my pastry knowledge is being put to god use lol.

      Glad to have you apart of the community.
      Gemma.

      • VictorBarcelona on December 10, 2017 at 12:05 pm

        Bravo Gemma!

        I made a batch of these babies and they taste out of this world! I concur you have mastered this skill of making the perfect Buttermilk Pancakes and shared it with us! There are no words for my gratitude to you for sharing this golden nugget of skill and knowledge.

        I think with the addition of the vanilla these “smell” like mini pastries of some sorts.

        I had never added vanilla to my mixture b4, but now with your recipe that will be my go to move. Oh, I did add frozen blueberries to mine and my yield came to 16 pancakes. I may experiment later and add some cinnamon too.

        Gonna add some pics to share with everyone.

        Many, many yummy thanks!

        Victor

        • Gemma Stafford on December 11, 2017 at 2:57 am

          Hi Victor,
          I am really happy that you like this recipe, I concur! These really are worth trying.
          I also add a mashed banana to this mix sometimes, feels like a complete meal!
          Thank you for your lovely review, I am having a good day!
          Gemma 🙂

  13. safa.m on November 22, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Best pancake recipe ever❤
    Gemma never fails to let me down with her recipes😍😍❤

    • Gemma Stafford on November 22, 2017 at 6:21 am

      yay!!!! I love to hear that. 🙂

      Gemma.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Safa, thank you, that is so very kind,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Katja on November 11, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Oh god why, why did I have to try this recipe xD the pancakes were amazing, how am I supposed to keep in shape now??

    Cheers,
    Katja

    • Gemma Stafford on November 11, 2017 at 7:48 am

      Hi Katja,
      There is no hope for you now! downhill all of the way LOL!
      However, moderation is everything, so a little of what you fancy will do you good, that is what I tell myself!
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Syazana on October 16, 2017 at 3:55 am

    Hey Gemma! I’ve made this recipe a lot of times. At first, I succeeded but the more I make it, the more I keep failing on making the pancakes. The pancakes would turn out uncooked when I cook each side until it almost become burn. The edges would also become overcooked. This is making me really frustrated each time I make it. I also follow the recipe carefully. Do you know what is happening to the pancakes?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2017 at 5:04 am

      Hi there Syazana,
      This is not the recipe, you are cooking them at too high a temperature! Turn it down, they will cook, but you need to give them time to puff up, to form the pillars, and be ready to turn.
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Drew on October 12, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve been using this recipe ever since you started your channel.and it makes me happy to see you grow and make bigger and bolder things. This recipe is PERFECT. my pancake always comes out supper fluffy. Today i ate 4 servings of this, but I’m not regretting any bite i took. Thanks gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2017 at 2:17 am

      Hi Drew,
      Haha1 Yes, i know what you mean. When i make these at home I tend to eat too many too!
      Good to have you with us. Thank you for this very kind review,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Chit on September 30, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Hi gemma. I wonder why mine batter seems.watery.comparing to what i seen in video. Still good tho. Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 30, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      oh really? was your buttermilk watery?

      It really should be a very thick mix. 🙂

  18. anamor20 on July 14, 2017 at 10:14 am

    454 fl oz? It should be 16 fl oz.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 15, 2017 at 3:48 am

      Ah! thank you for this, I have no idea what my intention was, I have edited the recipe.
      thank you for taking the time to point this out,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Silvia on July 2, 2017 at 1:16 am

    My brother came back from his holidays yesterday and I made him these pancakes for breakfast as a welcome back treat and we absolutely loved (and devoured) them! Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 2, 2017 at 2:34 am

      Hi Silvia,
      How kind you are! I am happy that he was happy with his welcome home breakfast, well done you,
      Gemma 🙂

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